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Hull becomes the first full-fibre UK city after £85m KCOM investment

Paul Lipscombe
October 10, 2019

The investment cost £85 million and began in 2012

KCOM has completed the rollout of its ultrafast full fibre broadband project known as ‘Lightstream’ in Hull and East Yorkshire, with over 200,000 premises connected in the area.

It means Hull has become the first full fibre city in the UK, with residents and businesses able to access speeds of up to 1Gbps.

The project started in 2012 and cost £85 million and puts Hull at the forefront of digital infrastructure in the UK, as only eight per cent of the country has access to full fibre broadband. The government aims to provide the whole country access to full fibre by 2025.

An independent study has estimated that the rollout could bring an economic boost of more than £469 million according to tech research consultancy firm Innovation Observatory.

KCOM MD Sean Royce said: “Seven years ago we promised our customers the fastest broadband in the UK and, following the completion of our Lightstream rollout, we are proud to say we’ve delivered it.

“Broadband is now an essential utility and access to the fastest speeds on earth is already making a positive difference to homes and businesses in the region.”

Between July and September, industry experts Think Broadband revealed that the average speed on Hull’s full fibre network is at 97.4Mbps and has been achieved by KCOM deciding to bypass Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and instead investing in Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

KCOM’s investment in full fibre was one of the key factors in the business recently being acquired by global infrastructure investor Macquarie for £627 million.

While the government is aiming for a nationwide full fibre rollout across the country by 2025, the UK is currently 34th in the annual league table for broadband speeds. In this table, the UK sits below Hungary, Japan, Slovakia and Madagascar.

Hull City Council Councillor Stephen Brady OBE has welcomed the rollout from KCOM: “The city is in the middle of an economic and technological revolution. Full fibre broadband is a vital part of this for both new businesses and existing businesses looking to expand and grow,” said Brady.

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